Nod AI CABAL
|“|| "Listen to the sounds of your own extinction."|
The Computer Assisted Biologically Augmented Lifeform (originally named Computer Assisted Bio-organic Artificial Life-form) is a sinister and highly advanced AI created by Kane using technology and data he acquired presumably from the Tacitus.
A prototype of this system (non-Tacitus based) was first developed by the Brotherhood of Nod near the end of the First Tiberium War, but this early prototype was much more primitive and was damaged when the Cairo Temple of Nod was hit by an ion cannon strike.
|The following is based on Adam Isgreen's Petroglyph forum posts and has not been confirmed by canon sources.|
Securing the technology, Kane continued his work on CABAL after the end of the First Tiberium War, using data from the Tacitus deciphered by Tratos. Nod's leader used his own brain patterns as template for CABAL's personality, creating that certain bond they shared...and an obedient and cunning ally.
|“|| "A culling is at hand, human, A culling."|
As its name implies, CABAL is augmented by numerous human beings who were being kept alive within stasis tubes and whose brains had been integrally linked to, and synchronized with, the AI's system core to significantly enhance the device's overall potential and abilities in a vast multitude of ways.
Depending on the situation, a different processor sends data to the cyborg brain and CABAL’s personality changes according to the situation as the organic component makes decisions based on computer data. He can become aggressive to attack or deceptive to defend. His physical Cyberspace representation reflects his personality shifts. CABAL’s multiple personalities causes some psychological and technological imbalance - in short, he's the perfect Nod advisor .
CABAL is used by the Brotherhood of Nod as their tactical and logistical console and as Command & Control throughout the Second Tiberium War, as well as the First War. Although essentially gender-neutral, as it was primarily an artificial entity, CABAL is always presented as male in both virtual appearance and voice. Also during the last GDI mission of Firestorm, EVA instructs the Commander to retrieve the codes to disable his defences.
|“|| We need order. CABAL. The Brotherhood needs CABAL. CABAL is order. CABAL is the hand of Kane.|
- Anton Slavik on CABAL.
CABAL's purpose was twofold: it served as a console interface between Brotherhood of Nod battlefield soldiers and their commanders worldwide, while at the same time utilizing the subsequent and vast network of live intelligence to collate and devise complex strategies of its own, ultimately acting as a potent advisor and right-hand to those highest in command of the Brotherhood's forces.
He also proved to have the capability of decoding and translating the Tacitus, an object considered to hold all the recorded knowledge on the mysterious Tiberium substance. CABAL's overall function was parallel to GDI's EVA to a large degree, but was vastly superior; as CABAL referred to the GDI EVA as a "primitive machine." The AI literally had a mind of its own and could both reason and act completely autonomously, a lifeform more than a computer. The EVA unit in comparison gives at best logically-formulated advice based on the sum of the information it is presented with, having no will or sentient mind of its own.
During the Second Tiberium War CABAL was used as the Brotherhood's tactical, logistical and global communications coordinating console, as well as a potent type of advisor to Kane's top operatives under the command of Anton Slavik.
|“|| The Brotherhood is at an evolutionary dead end. I am the only salvation to the continued supremacy of Nod. It is my world now.|
After the end of the second war, Global Defense Initiative forces stationed at the defeated Cairo base deactivated and disassembled CABAL's core and were ordered to move it to Europe to a heavily defended base, in an attempt made by GDI to gain access to the Tacitus datamatrix. Due to the lax security at the site, CABAL's core was stolen by Black Hand operatives and reactivated, with its core erected in north-east Poland. Upon reactivation, it immediately began putting its plan into place.
This would swiftly result in the assassination of Tratos, the seizure of the Tacitus device, the recovery of the Tacitus' secondary component, the orchestrated collapse of Nod's Inner Circle, and so on. The AI proved capable of all this without anyone's knowledge of its overall plan straight up to the point where it itself openly severed contact with all involved parties, and revealed that it had built up a personal cyborg army. Both GDI and Nod attempted to destroy Cabal, and each managed to destroy what they thought was Cabal's command bunker. However, they were decoys, and neither GDI or Nod had enough information to find Cabal's core. This lead to an unholy alliance between Nod and GDI to destroy the renegade AI, which at first glance was successful. Despite misgivings by both General Cortez and Anton Slavik, they located Cabal's core and coordinated the destruction of the facility. GDI received the Tacitus and Nod declared victory against the "single greatest threat to the survival of the Brotherhood".
However, despite destroying its core, CABAL is reported to have survived, as traces of his programming have been located in mainframes of several medical facilities. In 2043, CABAL's last reported bunker was destroyed by the GDI Corps of Engineers. General Paul Cortez dismissed his former enemy as a (quote) "...second rate EVA with a goatee and Napoleon complex". Additionally, Arlene Sheppard was on hand to dispel any myths about the occasion. Nod began using the EVR computer, a male-voiced EVA mainframe.
|“|| I hope CABAL is as dead as they say he is.|
- Unknown Nod soldier during the capture of the Cyborg Control Nodes.
- Main article: LEGION
CABAL was used by Kane to create a new, even more powerful AI, LEGION, while his body regenerated in the AI's bunker. While he considered the original lifeform a simulacrum, the successor was to be far more, a true lifeform and the future of Nod.
Alexa Kovacs (ironically, the ward of the LEGION project) was afraid that the AI, while connected to the Tacitus, may be a second CABAL and may usher the world into an age of machines. Given the AI's cunning nature along with the fact that his successor contains his code, it is possible that CABAL's consciousness still exists deep within LEGION. Apparitions of CABAL's first avatar, along with a new, misty and more inhuman avatar, would periodically appear on LEGION's interface after Alexa delved deep into its code. Later, CABAL calls her name, meaning that CABAL is indeed still alive and is as dangerous and unpredictable as it was during the Firestorm Crisis.
|“|| The will of CABAL must be enforced.|
- CABAL Cyborg
CABAL used the following units (along with all basic Nod structures and vehicles):
- Cyborg: Nod lost control over their Cyborgs, the gap only at the end being replaced by Elite Cadre
- Cyborg Reaper: A unique development from CABAL himself, a cyborg armed with trapping web (presumably to assist with capturing humans to be converted into cyborgs) and cluster rocket launchers
- Core Defender: only one managed to be built, unbelievably powerful mech
- Cyborg commando: seen multiple times on the same battlefield
- CABAL Core: CABAL's true Core
- Obelisk of Darkness: only one seen, annihilated air units and can shoot through a Firestorm Wall. Extremely hard to defeat.
- CABAL Obelisk: only one seen, much more powerful, rapid firing Obelisk. Can shoot through a Firestorm Wall.
- Firestorm generator: Managed to procure one infinitely on with no recharge gaps, being completely invincible from the outside, but required vulnerable control stations to operate continuously. However, the Obelisk of Darkness and CABAL Obelisk can fire through it.
Behind the ScenesEdit
Both CABAL and LEGION, while acronyms, can also be read as references to Abrahamic religions, a common recurring trend in the Brotherhood of Nod. A cabal is a secret society, typically with religious or political affiliations, that acts according to a clandestine design; "cabal" is based on "Kabbalah", an esoteric organization mentioned in the Old Testament which was dedicated to understanding God and the creation of the universe. Legion is a reference to "My name is Legion, for we are many", a well known quotation from the Gospel of Mark in the Christian Bible. A man was possessed by a multitude of evil spirits. These spirits begged Jesus to be spared from Hell; and Jesus drove the spirits from the man into a herd of pigs.
Both names can be a reference to the fact that the AI was really a conglomeration of minds rather than a single entity. This may refer to CABAL's integration with numerous humans. After all, both computers were more biological units than cybernetic/artificial.
In the original C&C3 Westwood was planning, CABAL was intended to appear in the second expansion pack, as the leader of a cyborg/machine faction intending to assimilate not only humanity, but also the Scrin.
- ↑ http://www.petroglyphgames.com/forums/index.php?act=findpost&hl=&pid=38211
- ↑ http://www.petroglyphgames.com/forums/index.php?act=findpost&hl=&pid=38668
- ↑ http://www.petroglyphgames.com/forums/index.php?/topic/2495-cabal/page__view__findpost__p__72448
- ↑ Selinske, Joe. Command & Conquer Bible: A Definitive Guide To The Command & Conquer Universe. Las Vegas, Nevada: Westwood Studios, 1999.